Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Red-Headed Step-Blog

I realized today that I haven't posted one thing to this blog since last July.  Last July!  Holy crap, that's over six months ago! What has kept me so busy that I haven't had time to blog something every now and then?  

Well... The summer was busy with contractors and new roofs on part of the house and a large shed, then my partner returned from a summer-long visit with his parents in China and we went on a whirlwind of travel (Milwaukee Art Museum for the Posters of Paris exhibition, and then the Great NY State Fair) before he returned to NYC to teach the fall semester.  Work had both of us running full-out through the fall, and then it was the holidays.  In November we traveled to Atlanta for an ASHA convention, taking time to visit the Raleigh-Durham area on our way down and the amazing Biltmore Estate in Asheville on our way back; and then three short weeks later we cruised to the Bahamas returning home on Christmas Eve Day.  The Christmas Break was way too short, and then it was back to the frenetic pace work always has at the start of a new year.

Now we're planning for our next cruise, which is five short weeks away.  We'll board the same ship we were on in December, the Carnival Miracle, and sail from New York City to Long Beach CA via the Panama Canal.  I've always wanted to cruise the Panama Canal and simply couldn't let this opportunity pass us by.

So, if you're interested in reading about my travels of the past six month and the prep process for the upcoming cruise, leave me a note.  If a couple people show some interest then I'll dust this thing off and make it feel a bit less like a red-headed step-blog.

Friday, July 6, 2012

"New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms" My Ass!

Gov. Andrew Cuomo June 25, 2011
How dare a group call itself "New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms" when its goal is to deny equal protection under the law for a specific minority? Their purpose is patently un-American. I am so irked by conservative groups with misleading names trying to force their 'divine' code of ethics and morals on everyone else. The US Constitution ensures that I cannot be forced to live under the rules of their cult, I mean religion. If they want religious rule then they should move to the Vatican, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia... there are plenty of options available to them.

Well today the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Rochester, NY handed these so-called freedom fighters (sorry, had to stop and laugh because that's so not what they are) a defeat by ruling closed-door negotiations among senators and gay marriage supporters, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, did not violate any laws.

Read the story HERE on

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ridiculous Overreaction to Adidas 'Shackle' Sneakers

So a sneaker design can be racist?  Really?  Are you sure?  Because the shoe simulates what some say are shackles then they must be sending the message that someone wants to re-enslave the target consumer, the young black man, right?  Ridiculous!

Read CNN's posting HERE.

Syracuse University professor Dr. Boyce Watkins went ballistic on the blog Your Black World:

"I literally froze up when I saw a new design from Adidas set to hit stores in August... with HANDCUFFS that wrap around the ankles. Yes, I said handcuffs…shackles….the stuff that our ancestors wore for 400 years while experiencing the most horrific atrocities imaginable," he wrote. "I am offended by these shoes because there is nothing funny about the prison industrial complex, which is the most genocidal thing to happen to the black family since slavery itself."

"I literally froze up..." creates a vivid image, and to include "the prison industrial complex" and a reference to genocide shows a true flare and passion for the dramatic.  To include and sensationalize these serious topics is self-serving (you notice Dr. Watkins' comments mentioned in CNN's post, right?).  Attaching inflammatory tabloid-worthy prose to an issue is far more offensive than the design of a pair of sneakers.

If we're taking fashion to task, where is the outrage and indignation that should be focused on the trend of young men wearing their pants hanging off their ass?  That has a much stronger association with "the prison industrial complex" than the allegedly offensive Adidas. According to Judge Greg Mathis, "sagging was adopted from the United States prison system and has sexual connotations - e.g., those who pulled their pants down the lowest and showed their behind a little more raw, that was an invitation."  Using Judge Mathis's logic I can only conclude that the boys hanging out on the street corner with their pants nearly at the knees either just got out of prison or they're power bottoms.  Or both.

I thought the Adidas' design was supposed to make it clear that "these are attached to me so there's no way you're stealing them!", or maybe "I'm into bondage."  I guess that goes to show that one sees what they want to see; and when one can't figure out what they're looking at they will project their personal opinions, desires, perspectives and prejudices into the situation.  But whatever the case, at the end of the day, why not let the consumer decide?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why Bob Marshall of VA is a F*cking Idiot

Bob Marshall led the Virginia House of Delegates to defeat the nomination of Tracy Thorne-Begland, a gay prosecutor from Richmond, to a post on the general district court. Now he's trying to defend his anti-gay bias.

Bob Marshall said, "You could preside as a district judge for a marriage of two guys if he wanted to, in violation of the law." He continued, "Moreover, if you have a bar room fight between a homosexual and heterosexual, I’m concerned about possible bias." He also said, "I said sodomy is not a civil right, and there’s an effort by homosexual lobbyists to equate the two. That’s wrong."

He's concerned about Thorne-Begland showing bias when a gay person is involved in a case? Does he share this same concern when a straight person is involved in a case overseen by a straight judge? What about a black judge overseeing a case where the defendant is black? Can a female judge preside over a rape case? Can a judge that's a parent oversee family court cases? What a crock of shit this douche bag puts forth.

Furthermore, to state that "sodomy is not a civil right" is to say that "being gay is solely about sex", which couldn't be further from the truth. To believe such nonsense one must come from a place where he/she feels absolutely no emotion for their spouse or partner - no love, no caring, no empathy - instead feeling only a physical attraction, lust. I feel sorry for Bob's wife, if he has one. His remarks should make clear to her that she's nothing but a vagina to him.

This is what's wrong with the GOP when it comes to LGBT issues. They get so hung up on the thought of gay sex - which personally I think titillates the hell out of them far more than they'll admit, even when they're caught tapping their toes in a men's room - that they can't get to the real issue, which is equal rights. It's always been about equal rights. It's never been about taking rights away, which is the enormous grotesque lie that the religious fundamentalists would like you to believe, or special rights, another big fat lie from the right. It's about making sure that there is only one class of citizen, that we're all on equal ground. What's wrong with that?

Friday, April 27, 2012

ACLU: Death Threats Are Protected Free Speech

Three 8th grade girls were recently expelled from Griffith Middle School in Northern Indiana for posting death threats on Facebook.  According to news reports the girls exchanged the names of classmates they would kill if given the chance and how they would kill their potential victims.  The mother of a child named in the posts learned of the online exchange and printed and shared the statements with school officials, which ultimately led to the girls being expelled for the remainder of the school year.

To read the story as reported by click HERE.

Enter the ACLU... I'm not a right wing anti-ACLU nut job - in fact, I usually find their advocacy for the little guy's civil rights comforting - but this time they've gone over the edge.  They're actually claiming that because the girls used emoticons and 'LOL' in their posts it is obvious that they were joking and therefore the posts are not real threats; and because the posts are not threats they are free speech and protected by the 1st Amendment.

Seriously?  I mean, seriously?  Are they really suggesting that you can threaten anyone and get away with it as long as you insert in a couple of LOLs and stick a smiley face on the end of the threat?  I'm struck speechless by the absurdity of the idea.  It's void of common sense!  Wake up folks, not all speech is protected!  Making a threatening statement, whether it's in person, over the phone or in writing, is at least intimidation and harassment, and depending on the laws in your city or state could very well be considered menacing, too.  These little idiots should be thankful that formal charges were not brought against them!

Whether the girls were joking is irrelevant.  Their actions represent a clear and obvious violation of the school's code of conduct (say nothing of the law), and for that they must be held responsible and accept the consequences of their poor choices.